Knowing His Will
If it’s in the Bible, do it. If it is forbidden in the Bible, don’t do it. That’s the will of God.
Alright thank you very much, and hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing Alright today? Well, this is your friend Dr. Cook and I’m inquiring as to how you’re doing. I do care about you and what’s going on in your life. We try to put a handle on the Word of God so that you could get hold of it for yourself. What a privilege it is to share God’s Word with people, isn’t it?
You and I’ve been looking at the book of Colossians, and we’re walking around in that ninth verse. Paul says, “I’m praying for you people at Colossae, that you might be filled with the knowledge of God’s will, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding”. Filled, the spillover, the Divine spillover factor in the Christian’s life. Filled. We talked about that, didn’t we? Filled with joy and peace and hope, filled with all the fullness of God, filled with the fruits of righteousness, filled with joy, filled with the Holy Ghost, filled with the knowledge of His will.
How can you be sure of the will of God? Does it ever bother you when you think about that? Now first of all, we have to say that God’s will never will go contrary to that which is revealed in His Holy Word. You know that, don’t you? You don’t have to bother praying about anything that isn’t clearly revealed in the Word of God because He isn’t going to change His mind. “Forever, oh Lord, Thy word is settled in Heaven”. “Heaven and Earth shall pass away”, Jesus said, “but My Words shall never pass away”.
So, the Word of God, as we have it today and written in the Bible, is settled and you need not pray about, “God, did you mean this or that”, when His commands are clearly expressed, Alright? It’s also the will of God that you live a holy life. “This is the will of God, even your sanctification”, said Paul. To live a holy life is God’s will. Anything that would take you away from personal holiness of life and behavior and attitude, is not in the will of God. You follow that?
God’s will is revealed in the Word, “If any man will do the will of God, he shall know of the Doctrine, whether it be of God or whether I speak of myself”, Jesus said as recorded John chapter 7. “Search the Scriptures”, said our Savior, “for in them you think ye have eternal life and they are they which testify of me”. Isaiah said, “To the law and to the testimony, for if they speak not according to this Word it is because there is no light in them”.
The Word of God is the standard, and the Word of God is the measuring device by which we evaluate our attitudes and our conduct, and the net result of obeying the Word of God is a holy life, by faith in receiving the Lord Jesus Christ, and obeying the will of God, you have what Paul calls holiness. There’s a verse that I’m looking for right now that should be in Romans chapter 6, give me a moment here to find it, will you? “Now being free from sin and become servants to God”, this is Roman 6:22, “ye have your fruit”, that’s the blessed result, in other words, of God’s work in your life, “unto holiness and the end everlasting life”. See?
Now, the results of sin is more sin. Roman 6:19, “As ye have yielded your members servants unto uncleanness and iniquity unto iniquity”- we could paraphrase it, you yielded the members of your body, slaves to uncleanness, and the result was more sin even, “even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto”, with the result of in other words, “holiness”. You have your fruit unto holiness.
So, a holy life is in the will of God for you, beloved, and this is a very simplistic matter then I admit, there’s nothing very complex about this. If it’s in the Bible, do it. If it is forbidden in the Bible, don’t do it. That’s the will of God. If it leads you to holiness of life, do it. If it doesn’t lead you to holiness of life, don’t touch it .Pretty good idea wouldn’t you say?
That type of standard will settle, immediately, many of the questions which seem to perplex people and about which they agonize and try to make a decision. The will of God is in His Word, the will of God is in His Holy Spirit who works within us, and the will of God is that we should be holy, Alright? It’s the will of God that you should be thankful, I’m thinking now of a verse in Thessalonians that says, “In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you”. It’s God’s will that you should be thankful. Had you ever thought of that?
You know, so often we grumble, don’t we, and complain. As a matter of fact, if you want to do the will of God, you better include thankfulness and praise. The writer to the Hebrews says, “By Him therefore, let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God, continually that is the fruit of our lips giving thanks, to His name”. The will of God is that you should be thankful and that you should, that you should give praise to God.
So, there are certain things, what I mean to say is, there are certain things about which we already know and concerning which we need not inquire, or over which we need not agonize in terms of trying to make a decision. You follow me? The will of God. Now, you can have God’s will in your heart, the psalmist said in Psalm 40 verse eight, “I delight to do Thy will my God, ye Thy law is within my heart”. The will of God can be in your heart. And you need to be sincere about it. Paul says in Ephesians 6, “Not with eye service as men pleasers, but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart”. You need to be sincere about it, Alright?
Now, with that as a background then, let’s come back here, “Filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding”. How do you know the will of God about a matter? Let us say the Bible doesn’t say anything about it. Let us say that these other tests that we have briefly shown simply do not come to help you come to any given conclusion. Then what do you do?
Well, reading what the Saints of other years have written and, and referring also to my own experience through the years, let me come up with two or three suggestions, may I? If you want to know the will of God on anything, number one, you better think it through so you know what you’re praying about. Write down on a sheet of paper all of the pluses and minuses, all the pros and cons, about the decision that you are required to make. Maybe it’s a new job situation or maybe it’s where to move your family, you’re going to move or some decision having to do with a purchase of some sort, whatever it may be, write down the pros and cons, think it through as best you can, make sure now that the Word of God doesn’t directly apply to any of these matters about which you are thinking.
Once you write down all the factors involved in a decision, you will frequently see that some of them immediately are spoken to by the Word of God and your decision will then be much easier. In any case, write it down, all of the plus and all of the minus factors, so that you think in the positive and the negative, you weigh one against another, you think it through, Alright?
Now then, refer it to the Word of God. Make sure that you have exhausted every possibility of the Word of God, the Bible, God’s infallible Word, speaking to these various factors. Third, get down before God and pray through the matter. Talk it over with Him, start at the top of the list and say, “Now Father, I want to talk to you about this”, and go right down the list. Talk about it with Him. The effort to pray intelligently about these matters will, of itself, enlighten your own mind and the blessed, indwelling Holy Spirit, who dwells within the believer, will make your praying dynamic, and you’ll find that insight is coming to you on some of these things. Alright?
First, think it through, analyze it, write it down and then submit it to the Word of God and then pray about it. Let us say that you’re still praying about the matter and you still don’t really have too much guidance as to a crisp and definite decision. What do you do? Look around you and see what God has been doing in your life. What is what one of the writers called, “the cast of circumstances”. What has God been doing in your life? Which way does He seem to have been leading you? The cast of circumstances can speak to the matter if you look at them.
Now, this doesn’t always mean that you decide based on circumstances. That, many times would be a mistake. If David had decided about Goliath on the basis of the circumstances, he would never have gone out to fight him, would he? So you don’t decide on the basis of the circumstances, but you, you look at them to see which way, God has been leading you. I find, very frequently, that God leads me, generally, in the direction He wishes me to take.
Abraham’s servant said to Laban, “I being in the way, the Lord led me to the house of my Masters brethren”. “I being in the way, the Lord led me”. God’s leading, generally, is in the direct, and He wishes you to take in specific decisions. And then I found it helpful to seek the counsel of a trusted Christian friend.
Now, don’t go around telling your problems to everybody. You will accomplish only two things. Number one, you’ll be an insufferable bore, and number two, you’ll get people gossiping about you needlessly, so don’t do it. Instead, if you can find a person who really knows the Lord and who really is your friend, talk the matter over with him or her. The effort to verbalize the problem in the presence of a Christian friend and to pray with that person, will help you, often times, as it has helped me to come to a decision. Put all of these things together and if you still don’t have an answer, remember what Joe Gunderson, my dear friend of many years, now with the Lord, told me, “If you’re seeking the Lord’s will and you don’t know it, it’s because you don’t need to know it just yet”. Wait on the Lord, be of good courage and He shall strengthen thine heart. You’ll know in time.
Dear Father today, keep us in Thy will, in Jesus name, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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